Friday, December 21, 2012

Protect your hearing and improve your health....

Today's Post:  Friday, 12-21-2012

1.  Hearing is extremely important for many reasons.

If you set up to cross the street and hear a car coming at high speed, you’ll stop.

If you can’t hear it, you may miss seeing it and not live to cross the street because you didn’t hear it.

Being able to speak to and listen to other people is so important that as hard on people as it is to be blind, deaf people tend to be less happy and emotionally healthy than blind people.

Similarly, older people with severe hearing loss tend to die at younger ages than people who can hear.  Part of that may be caused by the same thing such as impaired circulation from diabetes or heart disease.  But it’s quite likely that the lack of companionship and socializing from the hearing loss is part of the cause of the bad health and early death.

And, if you love music of any or many kinds, if you can’t hear it, it’s all gone!

2.  Of course, you can do the obvious things.

You can avoid extremely loud noises.  You can use ear plugs or sound deadening ear muffs when around loud noises.

You can in many cases choose a quiet place to live. Or you can make your living space quieter with sound insulation or noise cancelling technology or both.

You can keep the volume turned down below super loud when you use earphones or a head set.

You can only use a single earphone when walking around to avoid stepping in front of moving cars.  And you can keep the volume low enough you can still hear the cars and not damage your hearing.

3.  But loud noises sometimes show up unexpectedly.  Or you may need or want on occasion to go somewhere that’s loud all the time.

And, even people who try to avoid loud noises don’t do it 100% of the time. It’s quite common to turn up music you really, really like for example.

So wouldn't it be great if there was a way to loudness proof your ears and make them recover easily from minor damage from loud noises too?

This is even more important to the military.  Firing weapons that are hand held or huge guns is really loud.  Explosions are extremely loud. Battles with both are often extremely loud.

It seems that the military and some research doctors discovered that people who take a supplement called NAC, n-acetyl-cysteine, get exactly this effect.

They can withstand louder and more sustained loud noises then people who don’t and their hearing is less impaired during and just after the loud noise and they recover their normal hearing more completely and sooner than people who don’t take this supplement.

On Wednesday, 12-19 two days ago the "Health Watch" email I got from the Institute for Natural healing reminded me of this.

It seems that a good bit of the damage to hearing from loud noises is caused by it generating a lot of free radicals.  This happens in the critical inner ear where vibrations are turned into nerve impulses that your brain can allow you to sense and therefore to hear.

That means that if you took or generated an unusually effective antioxidant it would indeed protect your ability to hear.

Their email reports two studies on this.  In one in a steel manufacturing plant in Taiwan the workers tested had been exposed to over 90 decibels of noise every day for over 16 years.

That's louder than the 85 decibels of heavy car traffic on city streets already known to cause hearing loss in people exposed to it for hours at time.

Once the workers in the experimental group had been taking NAC for a while (they also had a placebo group), the hearing tests showed that the group taking NAC could hear better right after their shift than the placebo group could.

They also noted another study with comparable results.

And, I also remember reading once before that the US Military had done some comparable research before as well.

But, surprising as it may seem, this story is even more important than the hearing protection!

One of the most powerful antioxidants our bodies make is called glutathione.

People who are high in glutathione are far less likely to be seriously ill from almost all diseases than people who are low!  And they are likely to live longer too!  There is also evidence being high in glutathione tends to prevent all kinds of mental decline.

In fact, one doctor who wrote a book I read, found that for his sicker patients who were tested as low in glutathione he could speed their recovery and make it more likely by directly injecting them with glutathione.

So the fact that makes taking NAC so powerful is that taking NAC causes your body to release a lot of glutathione!  Taking 500 mg of NAC once a day or twice a day does the job.

I've taken NAC myself ever since I read that taking it helps prevent mental decline. 

Now it seems that this also helps protect my hearing!  Nice!   

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